Wednesday, March 10, 2010

ReadWriteWeb article about Lottay's work environments

Lottay and yours truly are spouting off giving advice to startup entrepreneurs in this article posted on ReadWriteWeb: An Entrepreneur's View on the Benefits of Coworking

Everything we said in the article - we believe!

Founder + Founder = Dynamic Duo!

As we've noted in an earlier blog post, we practice pair programming here at Lottay. This method of code development is part and parcel of Extreme Programming, which is a flavor of Agile Development, a common process for software development at startups.

In the pics above, we see Co-founder Andy Elliott and Co-founder Ross Hale pretending to do pair programming. I say "pretending" because, well, they're not really coding - they're filling out an online form for something business-related.

But, hey, look at the concentration, the joy, the sheer dynamism of this power duo.

Awesome, yes?


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Ventura County Reporter: Hatching an idea

Lottay recently received some nice press in one of the local newspapers in town: "Hatching an Idea" in the Ventura County Reporter. (Yeah, that's me in the color photo there :-)

The article is about the high-tech incubator in which Lottay is housed. We're in a building behind Ventura's City Hall. There are about a dozen other startups and small technology companies in here with us [including a guy who is building something physical - his workspace has drillpresses and lathes and batteries and circuit boards all over the place - fun!].

Part of being a startup is trying to make something out of nothing, having to make more with less. That's the startup life! Being in the incubator, as the article states, helps us do that.

Wired: The Future of Money

The February 2010 issue of Wired magazine has a fascinating article about electronic money. Read the article here.

Much of the article is about the granddaddy of electronic payments, PayPal. Lottay is a partner of PayPal, of course, taking advantage of PayPal's developer platform. enables you to send money to someone as a gift and make it actually feel gift-like!

Our big vision for Lottay is to help take PayPal into the realm of "social payments": online gifting, paying each other back for dinner, personal loans, sending money home (or to your kids in college), the office pool around the Oscars, that sort activity.

It's the future of money!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Wall Street Journal: Get married in flip-flops. It's cheaper.

The Wall Street Journal has a great piece about the "true cost" of a wedding these days. Read "What a wedding really costs" here.

$110,00?! Really? *ack*

I'm sure this is why many savvy newlyweds-to-be are telling their wedding guests not to buy them stuff - but to give them cash. Cash, after all, can go toward a down payment on a house or a car or into a retirement fund.

Or to pay off the bills from the wedding!

Try using Lottay to create a wedding registry to collect cash.

Monday, February 22, 2010

They WILL eat you out of house and home

Confirming what all parents already know, says that raising a child from infancy to the age of 18 will cost about a quarter of a million bucks. That's before college, mind you.

Parents and parents-to-be have been using to create and share baby registries. Because our wish lists are free-form, you can jot down anything you need or want ... from "Money toward college" to "This specific car seat". Share your wish list with family and friends and they can contribute toward your wishes via PayPal.

Using Lottay for your wedding registry

Nice pick up about Lottay in Arizona Bride magazine: "Show Them the Money!"

I'm really writing this blog post as an excuse to link to this!

Chinese New Year ain't over yet..!

Chinese New Year is still going on! The Asian celebration runs two weeks long. Don't you think all holidays should run two weeks ;-)

As some of you know, Lottay released our "Celebrate Chinese New Year!" application on Facebook in honor of the holiday.

Here's a nice blurb about our Facebook app.

You can also send virtual red envelopes on

Monday, February 15, 2010

Lottay's "virtual Red Envelope" for Chinese new year gifts

The second-largest Chinese newspaper in the U.S. did a nice article about Lottay's "virtual red envelope" for Chinese new year.

See the article here in Sing Tao Daily. is about sending cash as gift, securely via PayPal. Chinese new year is often marked by giving cash as a gift, inside a red envelope. So we combined the two (Chinese new year started on Feb. 14 and runs for two weeks).

Happy Chinese New Year from Lottay!

Gong xi fa cai! That's "Happy New Year" in Mandarin. February 14 was the start of the Chinese new year, a two week-long celebration of culture, tradition, food and family.

Lottay wants to help you celebrate the Chinese new year ... with our new Facebook application!

You can get your Chinese zodiac animal sign, your horoscope for the new year, and send good fortune to your Facebook friends.

That well wish can even include money via PayPal. Traditionally during Chinese new year, people give money gifts inside red envelopes. We're helping you do that electronically.

Not on Facebook (or just don't like Facebook)? You can also send an electronic red envelope on here.

Happy Year of the Tiger! gives love to Lottay

Thank you Entrepreneur for showing Lottay some love!

A recent article on their web site lists as one of "17 Companies We Love".

(Scroll down to the middle of the page to see our citation.)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Pair programming at

This is an office photo of Chris L. and Jesse F., two of Lottay's web developers. At Lottay, we practice what's known in the web dev world as "XP" - "extreme programming". No, we don't undergo five cosmetic surgeries, lose 75 pounds in two weeks, and remodel our house in four days. XP is a flavor of agile development, a software programming methodology that we employ here at Lottay.

A key component of XP is "pair programming", a coding technique where two developers sit at one computer and work together. One coder types, the other reviews his or her code, and they talk about it along the way.

It's a bit weird if you come from days of yore with cubicle hives of engineers sitting silently alone, tapping away at their individual keyboards.

Now, that said ... do Chris and Jesse look as if they're programming in that pic?

right. watching lolcats videos. yep.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Lottay's CEO talks about "old media"

Yours truly was on the PBS news show Nightly Business Report this month. I gave an editorial about "old media", specifically the television industry.

A few years ago, before I joined Lottay, I ran the television web site, Eight years of working at The Walt Disney Company gave me insights into where the TV industry is heading ... and the sight ain't pretty....

Chinese New Year starts on February 14, 2010

We're two weeks away from scaring off bad spirits and wishing for a fruitful harvest. In case you don't know what I'm talking about, I speak of Lunar New Year, often just called Chinese New Year.

The Chinese New Year follows the ancient lunar calendar and was originally tied to harvest times in an agrarian society. As with many things Chinese (my parents are Chinese, so I can talk this way), tradition and custom and symbolism all got intertwined, so much so that many people who celebrate the Lunar New Year have no idea what it's really about.

For many contemporary Chinese and people of Chinese extract, the Lunar New Year is a time to wish people well. This wishing often takes the very tangible form of giving people money as a gift. Specifically, older people give younger people money in red envelopes (red packets, known in Mandarin as "hong bao"). The red envelope is packed with symbolism in Chinese culture. Well, actually it's packed with cash, but you get it. is a web site for making the giving of money as a gift fun, personal, and secure. So we thought, Let's offer a Chinese New Year version of Lottay!

Gong xi fa cai! Gong hay fat choy!

Get married, get broke

Wow - just read this report about the cost of weddings in America. I'm so glad I got married a long time ago :-)

The graphic on this article originally from BridePop is startling. Look at those bar graphs! $45,000 for the average wedding in San Francisco! Must be all those high-tech millionaires getting hitched driving that up :-)

On, we've seen that some of our users are using our web site to create wedding registries. Of course, on Lottay, all gifts given are money, transfered via PayPal person-to-person, so the newlyweds are going to end up with cash. Not five toasters, ugly table linens, and an anti-microbial reverse-osmosis water filter*.

What these couples have realized, smartly, is that the best gift they could receive for their wedding is money. After all, starting off a new life of coupledom and cocktail parties requires cash, not five toasters. And, you've just spent $28,000 for your wedding if you threw it in Boston (see article). You. Need. Money.

So go ahead and create a wedding registry on Lottay, state what you want to use the money toward, and get the cash. Your guests will feel good about giving you just what you want, and you'll have a way to pay off your credit card bills from the wedding.

*That was one of the gifts my wife and I received at our wedding. There was no card attached to it, so we don't really know who re-gifted, er, thoughtfully gave us that present.

Lottay has a new home - Ventura California

At the beginning of this month, Lottay Inc. moved offices. We are now headquartered in Ventura California, one of the surfing capitals of the west coast. That's "surfing" as in ocean wave-riding :-) Though, in our case, we're housed in a high-tech incubator and we're an Internet company, so we surf the Web too!

The incubator Lottay is in is called the Ventura Ventures Technology Center. The Center is a space for tech startups to get off the ground, talk shop, find camaraderie, and store our surfboards (the V2TC is four blocks from "C Street", one of the best surf spots along the Pacific Ocean in southern California).

The City of Ventura runs the incubator, and they have been terrific landlords for Lottay.

The V2TC recently threw a launch party. Here's the scoop on that.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Contest Round-up! Win money! is sponsoring not one, not two, but three - count 'em! - three contests online right now this week don't wait offers end soon TO WIN MONEY.

DealSeekingMom has our contest here.

MomSpark has a Lottay contest here.

MomsWhoSave has our contest here.

Now, shoo, go, run - enter those contests!

Wishing you a lottay luck,

Monday, January 4, 2010 contest sponsored by Lottay - win $100!

Attention attention - visit our friends at and enter for a chance to win $100! Didn't get the Christmas gift you wanted? A hundred Bennies could do the trick then :-)

Thank you,!